The change: choosing to have a heart of gratitude.
How many of us knows that person who complains about everything? That person that complains about the weather, complains about their spouse, complains about the cost of things, etc. The list can go on and on. Those people are ones that bring us down in one full swoop if we are not careful. What about our own selves? Do we ever complain about things needlessly? Do we have small talk with the cashier at the grocery store and walk away from it and realize that our conversations were not uplifting? Do we get off the phone from talking with a friend and realize that our whole conversation was about how bad of a day we were having? How much of our life is spent wishing we had this or that?
When I visited the Amish homes, most of them weren’t these “perfect” looking homes. They didn’t have all the pretty decorations on their walls or have all the latest and greatest of things. But they did show a heart of gratitude. They were thankful for those things that God had placed in their lives. They appreciated the little things in life. We can learn much from them.
Why make the change:
A grateful heart is one that finds the countless blessings of God in the seemingly mundane everyday life.
Gratitude is good for these reasons:
- Having a heart of gratitude allows you to be happy and celebrate today. You aren’t sitting around worrying about things, you are thankful for what you have, and you anticipate what God has for you next.
- Having a heart of gratitude blocks all negative emotions. It does not allow you to sit around and wallow in self pity. It does not let you dwell on the negatives in your life. It does not overwhelm you with all of the bad that is going on around you.
- Having a heart of gratitude will make you stress resilient. If you resist stress that is a reflection in your life, in your marriage, in how you treat people, and towards your health.
- Having a heart of gratitude will strengthen the bonds of your relationships with people around you. People like to be around people who are generally happy in life. No one wants to spend time with the negative person, but they do want to be around those that are happy.
- Having a heart of gratitude will improve your self esteem. When you are thankful for your position in life, your social situation, your job situation, and for the material goods that God has given to you, you will be accepting not wanting. When you start thanking God for what you have and stop looking at what you don’t have, you will become a happier person.
how to make the change:
If you find it hard to change your attitude from pessimism to optimism you need to train your heart to look for the good things in your life. Start when you first wake up in the morning, say 5 things you are thankful for. Speak them out loud, eventually it will convince you to believe it. Do this a few times during your day: in the morning, at lunch, in the afternoon, and before you go to bed.
When you start to feel yourself becoming negative about something immediately change it to a positive. When your child makes a mess for the hundredth time during the day, say,”I am thankful that I have this child and that he is physically able to move and make messes like this that I am physically able to clean it up!” Well it doesn’t have to be that severe but you get the idea of being thankful for anything that can help turn around your negative thinking.
I know when I have a mountain of dishes to do, and we ALWAYS have a mountain of dishes to do, I start thanking God for the food and the ability to be able to prepare and make this food for our large family. Because I know that someone somewhere is not getting their bellies full for dinner that night.
Whenever we are faced with any type of trials or temptations, start looking for ways to be thankful for them.
When being spiritually attacked be glad you are in a position that the devil knows that you are a threat to him. Someone once told me, if things are going too good in your life than you must be doing something wrong. The devil doesn’t mess with people whom are not a threat to him and his work. Made me think a little about that.
Say the words, “thank you” to your spouse, or children, or whoever else you come in contact with this week. Say it more than once, catch yourself saying it almost to the point of it being annoying to you:) Cultivate it and the more that you say it the more it will become part of your heart.
It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude its gratitude that brings us happiness.